Skip to main content

Board Games From My Childhood in the 70's

Old Monopoly Set

The game of Monopoly has changed in appearance over the years, but the basic premise has remained the same.

The game of Monopoly has changed in appearance over the years, but the basic premise has remained the same.

Board Games from the Seventies

Yes, I confess. I am old enough to remember the seventies. (Although my teen years were spent in the eighties.) I don't like to admit it very often but a question about board games from my childhood got me back to thinking to those "vintage board games" from my childhood.

Board games were a big part of my childhood. Yes, this was the pre-video games era. And even when the video games came, let's face it: Pong really wasn't too stimulating for a young girl!

Board games were a great way to while away the afternoon, with my sister and a couple of friends. They were competitive and they represented entertainment at its best for the seventies. Here are the board games I played in the seventies. Surprisingly, all of them are around today.

1. Pay Day

The first board game I remember playing was Pay Day. I think Pay Day must have been designed by a gentleman determined to teach kids that real life was hard, and you never really get ahead. Because you rarely seemed to get rich in Payday. The game was designed to be a calendar. You got paid at the end of every month, and played for a certain amount of months.

The thing I liked about Pay Day was that it seemed to be so real to life. It closely resembled my parents' life: you got bills, you got mail and you took Sundays off. Even adults seemed to enjoy this game, even though I am sure it wasn't a novelty for them! I also loved being the banker in Pay Day because it added some extra excitement and challenge.


  • The game, Pay Day, came out in 1975, and that year, sold more copies than Monopoly.
  • The original game gave you $325 in cash; today's game gives you $3500.

2. Monopoly

Monopoly was the next game that I remember playing during my childhood in the seventies. Now, Monopoly, unlike Pay Day, actually believed that some people got rich. Getting rich was the goal of this game but it sure took a long time!

I remember playing with my sister and a friend for endless hours on a Saturday afternoon. The game was a commitment that only the fearless would take on. Winning the game required you to take over a whole city and become a ruthless tycoon. All of those acquisitions and mergers took time.

I'm not sure what Monopoly was supposed to teach us: that monopolies were bad? Or that they are actually good, and that we should all desire to be Bill Gates? I don't know what it was supposed to teach us, but I think we did learn that real estate was definitely the best way to make money!


  • The game was first started by a woman named Elizabeth Magie in 1903. Her goal in inventing the game was to demonstrate the evil of monopolies. Well, I think her plan may have backfired!
  • Special editions of the game were created during the World War to send to prisoners of war that included tools for escape, such as maps, compasses and real money.
  • There are both UK and US versions of the game. As well, there is a "Calgary" game, and many other versions created in the last few years, including an electronic banking version. Hey, I think the banker's job just got eliminated!

Vintage Commercial for PayDay And Sorry


Stock Ticker Board Game


Stock Ticker Was A Rare Game

3. Stock Ticker

The next game I remember playing in the 70's is called Stock Ticker. Funny thing is, this is another one about money. With all the board games I played about money in the 1970s, you would expect me to be rich by now! But I'm not.

So, Stock Ticker, like it sounds, was about buying stocks. Each player was given $5000 to buy stocks from the Stock Market, at $1.00 a piece. And then, after all the stocks were bought, the whole game was about the stocks going up and down the stock market. If they were above par, the stocks paid dividends. If they weren't, they didn't. If they went to $2.00 (a very rare occasion), they split and you made double of whatever you had of the stock. If it went to $0.00 you went belly up for that particular stock and lost it all.

Stock Ticker was a lot of fun, and it was challenging because you really took chances on when you bought, and when you sold. It work in a very similar fashion to the real stock market. The stocks you bought were mostly the commodities: gold, silver, grain, grain. Bonds and industrial were also in the mix.

My sister and I loved playing this game. I think it made us feel grown up. We were making decisions with large sums of money, and taking risks. It seemed glamourous. No one we knew was investing large sums of money. We were lucky if we paid our bills but in this game, money was something for playing and having fun.

Scroll to Continue

You can now play Stock Ticker online. (Sort of -- it looks like it's just a one-player game.) Obviously, I'm not the only one that remembers this classic game!


The Weapons of Clue

These are the weapons that the killer may have used!

These are the weapons that the killer may have used!

4. Clue

The last board game I remember playing from the seventies was Clue. Finally a game that was not about money! No, instead, this game focused on: murder! One person was killed off, somewhere in this big house, with some very sinister-sounding weapon, and we had to figure out who had done the deed.

Clue was a game that required more players, so we usually played it with some adults. Plus, it was pretty complex to set up. It was such a social game: figuring out the mystery required lots of talking and chatting and conning. Thinking about it, Clue was a game of social cues. You had to watch other people's faces to try to determine who was bluffing, who was straight-shooting.

I loved Clue because it had a mystery to it. The suspense stayed all the way to the end of the game. And it was interactive: you had to work with all the clues to determine who the assassin was. And it was creative. It was like being in the middle of a real mystery. I loved it!


Which Game Was Your Favourite?

Board Games

It's hard to believe sometimes that I grew up in the seventies. The times when people said "car seats," they meant a place for adults or children to sit. When our idea of high-tech was a brand-new eight-track player. And the only way to download music was to listen to the radio, and catch your favourite song.

But in those pre-computer days, we never expected to have screens to entertain us at every given moment. When we were too old to play with toys and too young to play with boys, board games were there to fill in the gap.

The games I remembered gave a taste of real life. They were structured and allowed us to experience things we might never have in any other way. And most of all, board games got us playing together. We weren't all staring at a screen, away from each other. We were looking at each, laughing and talking. Good times!


More On Board Games



Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on September 15, 2012:

Cakey, wow, interesting! It sounds like that may have been the American version of Stock Ticker. The game I described was made in Canada. I am glad this brought up good memories for you. Have a wonderful weekend!

CakeyCakey on September 12, 2012:

Very nice post. I have the game "Stock Ticker" made my Whitman which goes to the late 1960s. It had 8 different companies - Maytag, International Shoe, American Motors, Woolworth, Alcoa, Western Publishing, J.I. Case, and one other that doesn't come to mind. We'd play for hours and hours and end up using paper to record dividends when the shares went 2-for-1 or 3-for-1. Good memories, indeed.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on May 01, 2012:

@Faceless One, yes! Miss Scarlet in the Kitchen with the Rope. LOL! I never got into the Chutes and Ladders that much but I know other people did. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. Thanks for going back there for a couple minutes. Take care!

@Faith Reaper, thanks for the comment. I'm glad it give a little memory for you. Take care and blessings to you and yours!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on May 01, 2012:

@JATeacher, my sister and I played Monopoly, too. That has to be the longest game ever made! Stock Ticker was made in Canada and I think it may have not made it over the States. That's cool that you played the Life game. I never played it as a child but my niece (aged 10) recently bought it and she and her friends had tons of fun with it. I don't know if it's changed or not since the 70's but it is a really cool game.

Thanks again for going back to the 70's with me! Have a wonderful night!

Faith Reaper from southern USA on April 29, 2012:

Thanks for taking me back in time and, yes, I remember playing Monopoly and Clue, etc. Thanks for the memories of back in the day. Voted up and interesting. In His Love, Faith Reaper

Kate P from The North Woods, USA on April 29, 2012:

It was Mr. Plum in the Study with the wrench.. lol! Another one I loved was the old Chutes and Ladders (early 80s.)

What a great hub! Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

LaDena Campbell from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on April 29, 2012:

I played all of the games except Stock Ticker - had never heard of it. Monopoly was my favorite and my sisters and I had many long, long, long nights playing the game...seems like I always lost! I also remember playing Life and hub!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 23, 2012:

Baby Boomer, I'm with you on that one. It is so much fun to just sit around and play. It's kind of a pure fun. I am so glad that my sister has taught her girls about board games, so we usually play a few rounds of whatever their current favourite is, when I see them.

And yes, I love Clue! Let's do it! Thanks so much for coming by.

Deborah Turner from Surprise Arizona on April 22, 2012:

Very interesting hub. To this very day there is something special about sitting around the table togather as a family playing a game. No computer graphics can compare to the smiles, and conversation you can share around the table with your loved ones! Anyone up for a game of Clue?

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 08, 2012:

Alocsin, Stock Ticker was a Canadian game and it seems it wasn't widely distributed elsewhere in the world. Thanks for your votes and great comment!

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on April 08, 2012:

I have played every one of these except stock ticker. I've never even heard of it but since I was into stocks that would've been fun. Voting this Up and Interesting.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 06, 2012:

Jo, I am glad it brought back some good memories! I never did play Candyland but I have heard about it. Yes, I wrote the hub in response to a question, and it was a lot of fun to write. Thanks for the great comment!

Jo_Goldsmith11 on April 06, 2012:

This brought back memories for me too. Monopoly was my favorite! My sisters and I would play candyland too. This was my second favorite. I would always win! :) I voted up and shared. A great idea to write about and remember the good old days of being a kid.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 04, 2012:

Pamela, I agree with you 100%! With these video games, everyone is just staring at the screen, away from everyone else. I hate that! I'm glad this brought some memories back of you and your kids. Good times!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 03, 2012:

I remember playing most of these games with my children. Board games are so great as you are spending real time with others rather than every playing computer games in their bedrooms. Great hub.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 02, 2012:

@Kashmir, thank you for your kind words and votes. Have a wonderful night!

@SAB, I sure do remember Masterpiece. In fact, I planned to write about that one in a hub about board games I played in the 80's. Thanks for stopping by!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 01, 2012:

Stephanie, that's neat that you knew those games, too. I think Clue is such an amazing game. It's amazing how much board games have formed our family history, isn't it? That's why I am a big advocate of keeping the tradition of board games up for this generation. Nice to see you, Stephanie!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 01, 2012:

@2besure, that is an interesting use of board games: to look at personality! It's funny but we don't really don't change our personality that much from when we were kids, do we? Thank you so very much for sharing!

@Rebecca, thank you so much. Stock Ticker was a Canadian game, so I don't know how many people from other countries had heard of it. Thanks for for stopping by.

@Angelo, Risk was another great game. We did not own but I did play it a friend's house a couple of times. Lots of strategy for that game. Thanks for stopping by!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 01, 2012:

@Posh, thank you so much. I am so glad that this hub brought you back some great memories. We're not old, though, right? :)

@Deborah, wow! That must have been quite an eye-opener. I've never heard of that game before. Barbies themselves weren't exactly the best role models, were they? And yet I do remember thinking how great they were. Thanks for the comment.

@NYBride, it's nice to meet another child of the seventies. I thought there may be quite a few of us on here. I forgot about Sorry. We used to play that game with my Grandma a lot. She always had games for us grandkids to play while we were there. Thanks for stopping by!

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on April 01, 2012:

Great idea for a Hub to share. Board games were lots of fun, I use to like Pay Day.Never heard of stock ticker! Interesting!

Angelo52 on April 01, 2012:

Nice hub. I remember playing monopoly, sorry, and risk with family and friends.

Pamela Lipscomb from Charlotte, North Carolina on April 01, 2012:

Interesting point and something we all can related to. If you really what to see what personality type your child is, play board games. I found that I hate to lose at anything! Have to say was also a bad looser. It's scary, I am pretty much the same now. So sad...: (

Stephanie Henkel from USA on April 01, 2012:

Monopoly and Clue were around even in the prehistoric days when I was a kid, and were two of my favorite board games. I do remember my kids playing Pay Day and some of the other games mentioned in the comments. Board games were a great part of our family's life!

Lisa Kroulik from North Dakota on April 01, 2012:

I am a child of the 70s as well. Thanks for the fun read. Here's a few more I remember: Operations, Cat's Eye, Sorry, Mouse Trap. I'll have to keep thinking for more.

Deborah Neyens from Iowa on April 01, 2012:

Clue was my favorite, although I also liked Monopoly. A friend found an old "Barbie Dream Date" board game circa 1970s at a thrift store recently and bought it. We've played it a few times and it is so incredibly sexually sterotyped it would be sad if it wasn't so funny. You win by completing a number of tasks like "going steady" and getting a dress for the prom. But watch out, drawing the "go to school" card is kind of like going to jail in Monopoly. Weren't those great messages to be sending young girls in the 1970s?

Steve Mitchell from Cambridgeshire on April 01, 2012:

What a great nostalgic look back. pp it looks like we are around the same age ( 47 ) as I too remember these games and playing them with the family during the 70's and early 80's. It is a shame that we have probably seen the last of the family games where you can all sit round a table to play. Great memories, thanks

vote up and awesome.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 01, 2012:

@Biz, I'm so glad it brought back memories for you, too! Nice to meet you.

@Wolf, isn't it funny how we practices those social skills on our siblings but had no idea we were doing so? Nice to meet you!

@Perfume, that's great that your kids still do play from time to time. At least they aren't completely ignorant of board games. But there are a lot more options to choose from, now, aren't there? Thanks so much for your comment.

favouriteperfume from Malvern, UK on April 01, 2012:

I loved Monopoly and draughts, but Scrabble has to be my all-time favourite! My kids still love it if we all switch off our computers and get the board games out, but it's a shame that we do it so rarely now.

wolfshadow on April 01, 2012:

I remember playing Clue all the time, and you're right about half the game being about facial clues. I learned to read my brothers pretty quickly, lol. Thanks for the great hub.

Related Articles